How To Secure a Garage

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Garages store our valuables and shelter our automobiles, but they are often a weak point in home security. We often think to lock the front door, but we leave the door to the garage from inside the house open--the same garage that may have unlocked windows or large dog doors. Reduce your family's risk of theft or invasion by properly securing your garage.

Things You'll Need

  • Hasp and screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Padlocks
  • Survey the garage to determine possible points of entry--doors, windows and pet-access portals.

  • For windows, main garage doors and dog doors, screw a hasp to the inside of the portal, connecting the window to the window frame, the garage door to the frame or floor, etc. Secure each hasp with a padlock.

  • For doors leading from the garage to the outside, test the lock in the handle. Stable locks (such as double deadbolts) need no further fortification. But if the lock is not stable (if, for instance, the lock is part of the door handle), or if a window in the door can be broken to permit access to the lock on the inside of the door, then install a hasp, screwing the hasp to the door panel and the door frame inside the garage.

  • Reset the electronic combination for the garage-door remote opener. A prior homeowner or renter may have kept a spare opener, or a neighbor may have an unknown spare. Change the code according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Test the lock leading from the garage to the house. If the lock is weak, replace it or install a hasp on the door and its frame, from inside the house.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase padlocks in bulk--they will each have the same key core. If a dog door is nothing more than a hole in the wall, consider adding a panel to slide over the portal from inside, sealing it from possible intruders.
  • If security is paramount, change all locks immediately on taking possession of a new home.
  • When using padlocks, make sure that a person who is in the garage without a key has a means of escape--the goal is to keep people out, not in. Using a simple bolt in a hasp instead of a padlock may be an effective substitution.

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